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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve been using this for about a month now and still use it everyday! Love it! I still wouldn’t tip it upside down to brew however…it leaks sometimes still. But as in a previous review by Hesper June I too have sometimes been brewing tea in it! Since I don’t have a gongfu teapot or a gaiwan, this seemed perfect (technically a bit big) for gongfu brewing but it does the job and I don’t spend more money:)
I bought the large mug specifically for Rooibos teas or herbals where you can leave the leaves brewing for an extended period of time. I love that the filter strains the Rooibos when I am drinking it. I have never had any problem with the rooibos passing through the filter. I have tried brewing the tea the alternate way (by putting it in the filter and tipping it upside down after the required cooling period) and have gotten occasional leaks. I contacted the company and they have been very helpful with hints etc and even offered to send me a new seal! I am still not sold on the inverting method of brewing the tea in this mug—by the time the hot water cools to the point that i can invert it my black tea doesn’t seem to brew nicely; however it is great for brewing my rooibos. I use the mug everyday!
The only gripe I have about this system is that the strainer doesn’t stay level in the cup. Yes, I know this is a minor gripe, but sometimes I’m a little bit compulsive, and you would think that a strainer/cup/lid designed for each other could fit together PERFECTLY. I also like to fill the cup up as high as possible. Since the strainer isn’t level, I often fill the cup just a hair too high for the low end of the strainer and get a few leaves floating over into my tea. Besides this minor MINOR complaint, I love it!
I ordered myself one of these after using my mother’s a couple times and really enjoying it. Annoyingly, even though I ordered a design with birds and magnolias, the cup I received was plain white. I wrote to Amazon to complain, and they did nothing, then wrote to Tea Forte and they sent me a replacement and said to keep the first cup. So, these are my current favorites to use, and I really enjoy having two to switch around and use during the day without having to constantly wash.
The cups keep tea nice and hot while it steeps, and the lids also help a lot. The strainer is fairly effective, and better than many I’ve tried at keeping small particles out of the liquor.
Full Review will be on http://sororiteasisters.com/ on the 12th. Its a lengthy review but here are the snippits for now:
I have mixed feelings about my Libre Tea Glass n Poly Original.
To begin, there is one strong point about this tea glass that I want to point out. I have no idea why it is not highlighted more on their site, perhaps it is and I have not found it, but it is one of the most breathtaking parts about this item so if I were selling them I would have it very easy to find on the site. The part I am talking about is the lid! (stunning photo will be included in the full review on http://sororiteasisters.com/ )
More on sipping: Maybe it is me, maybe I really do have a drinking problem, a tea drinking problem that is, but sometimes if I am not being mindful enough, when I take a sip there is a dribble, usually ending up on my shirt. I feel it has to do with the small sipping radius of the opening, and the threads where the lid screws on. The opening radius is small – my entire nose more or less has to go into the glass to get my lips around the opening. That makes it even more difficult to sip while the tea is still hot. No worries though that does not last too terribly long. Also due to the radius it is difficult to get enough of my mouth in the right place for proper sipping. Granted I may have a big mouth but it is something I have noticed. Due to it being a travel glass however I really don’t want the hassle of having to be all that mindful while sipping on the go. Ease of use could be far better.
Size: Yes it does matter. I got the original size Libre. Its a decent size. Fits my small hand perfectly. If I liked it more, if it retained heat better, I would probably also get a larger size for longer travels as I can sip a tea down in light speed. However I will pass on getting a larger one due to the issues I have with this one.
For me the downfall is I truly do not ENJOY sipping my tea out of the Libre Glass n Poly and tea should be enjoyable to sip.
I address heat retention and other issues as well so don’t miss the full review! :)
Tried mine for the first time today. Had some issues. I am not rating until I give it another go. Was not user error – I read the instructions – watched the video ….
Not thrilled but giving it more time and more usage.
Will do full review when I am not exhausted – plus need to go get the tea stains out of my pants from the earlier disaster.
Full review on http://sororiteasisters.com/ on the 7th but here are my snippits:\
The sifter comes with this scoop like tool that helps you push or drag the matcha along the screen to sift it.
Its easy to clean as well which for me is a HUGE plus!
The canister is quite large. I have sifted a full 60 grams of matcha and had plenty of room to spare.
I find it far more convenient than using what I had in the past which was just your basic kitchen strainer. I always made messes when using that and wasted some good matcha!
Please visit the blog to find out more!
I have had my Aladdin tea infuser mug for at least four years and I still love it. It is a double walled plastic thermos mug with and internal fine mesh basket in the lid that sits above the water line until you lower it. You fill the basket with your tea, fill the thermos to the fill line with hot water and when you are ready to lower the basket in the water or raise it, you use the lever on the outside of the lid to move the basket. You never have to open the mug to steep your tea. I read that it is microwave safe, but I have never put mine in the microwave. The lever mechanism has metal, so it would I’d microwave only the mug part.
I first bought one for my sister as a gift and a few months later purchased my own. When comparing notes with her, she complained that the infuser basket on hers would always fall down into the water. Mine clicks when put up and stays in place. I called the company to inquire about the difference and they offered to send a replacement! The new one was just like mine with a clicking sound when the basket is raised. I have read other reviews complaining about the falling basket and I’m guessing Aladdin was paying attention to it and fixed the issue in later models.
My experience with this mug has been fantastic. I do try to keep it upright and and not just toss it in a bag and I haven’t had any leaks. The inside of the mug has etched a little over years of use and slightly discolored, but it doesn’t seem to hold onto smell much. Pouring boiling water and baking soda resolves both those issues. The basket mesh is fine enough that I haven’t had any issues of smaller particles finding their way into my tea. My only complaint is that the basket is small for teas that need lots of room for expansion, but it would make the whole mug bulkier so it’s a trade off I can live with. With the double walled design, the mug keeps tea warm for a while. I find it irritating when I want to drink my tea sooner than later, but it’s better than the opposite problem and my tea is still warm if I forget it for a while.
Someone asked me how well it holds heat so I did an experiment. I poured boiling water in the mug and took the temperature every half hour. It was sitting inside my house (kept at 70F) and I opened the part of the lid that you sip through to stick the thermometer in, then closed it again when I got a temp. Here is what I got: @0m/188F, 30m/149F, 60m/130F, 90m/120F, 120m/109F, 150m/98F It won’t keep your tea warm all day, but it will be warm for a couple hours.
Overall I’m quite satisfied with this mug and I would happily buy it again if it eventually gave out.
Dear reader, I feared this was a gimmick. I can not resist gimmicks even when I identify them correctly and had been craving this for, like ever, and never been on stock or available from any place with reasonable shipping. Till now, when thanks to a friend who spotted the very last one (obrigada!) I got one of my very own! Would it live up to expectations?
By the way this is theoretically Yumchaa´s Magic tea Filter http://www.yumchaa.com/produkty/tea-making-equipment/38/ though the box says this is Magic II by Cha Cult and patented to them though it seems there are tons of different versions of this. It´s a sort of good-plastic mug with a good silicone filter at bottom. You put the tea in, pour the water and after steeping, place over a mug which is smaller in diameter than the bottom of this infuser, the pression at bottom makes the water pour from the bottom. Gimmick or not?
At first, without figuring out how to remove the filter or lid for easier cleaning I very much feared it was a gimmick. Fun but so not easy to clean up. What would be the point of something much more difficult to clean than a regular teapot if it does not brew better than a regular teapot? But then I figured out how to remove the filter and lid for easier rinsing and cleaning, and OK that changes everything. Particularly for rooibos teas or for multiple steeps of the same tea – it really is more convenient while not being any more difficult to clean. I love seeing how the leaves expanded and opened during the infusion. I am pretty happy with it so far!
As drawbacks, well, you got to let the tea leaves cool a bit before removing them to clean the filter – I surprisingly more difficult to remember this than you would think. And for some reason this little .5 liter pot and the transparency of the pot I keep misjudging how much leaf to use – I suspect it will come with practice. But in all, more than a gimmick, a very nice well thought tool I am glad I got. BUT and there is a but, while really very convenient for a few brews (multiple steeps, rooibos), I am not sure this makes better tea than any old regular teapot with loose tea and a strainer.
My microwave broke and I have been enjoying the throwback to the 70’s lifestyle before microwaves were standard in every house, so I haven’t replaced or fixed it. The feature I miss most on it is the timer, so when I saw this tea timer while grocery shopping it was obvious it must come home with me.
This timer has a couple features that are pretty neat. It can double as a lid for a standard small round tea tin, which is pretty clever designing! It’s a tight squeeze, but it works. That feature would probably suit someone who has only a few teas in their collection. I have over 30 teas in my cupboard, so searching for the one tin with the timer isn’t going to work in my house. Fortunately it also has a magnet inside the plastic casing, so I am able to stick it on my fridge instead. Perfect! It has five preset buttons, color coordinated for the type of tea; 1 minute for white, 2 for green, 4 for black, 5 for oolong and 6 for herbal. It also has a button for you to add minutes to the time, one to add seconds to the time, both of which beep for every second/minute you add (annoying) and the start/stop button. The preset buttons are great, but it’s the recommended time for their teas to steep. Other companies have different suggestions for steeping time for their teas, so I find myself having to add time to adjust. Not the end of the world, but not super convenient either. The timer only goes up to nine minutes and fifty nine so you can’t use it for any other application that may need more time. If you add too much time you have to reset it which consists of pressing the start/stop button enough to clear it. I like that it runs on standard AAA batteries, not some hard to find watch sized, but it looks like you need a screwdriver to get past the 4 screws and into the battery compartment. I have only had it for a few days, but I’m finding the buttons get stuck and don’t pop back up the way they should. I have to press on them and tilt them in the opposite direction of where they are stuck to release them. Lastly, the beep reminds me of some super annoying digital alarm clock that left early morning scars on my subconscious. I would have preferred a little tune of some sort that doesn’t set off a clawing urgency inside me to shut the timer up when I’m preparing to relax with a cup of tea, but oh well!
Despite the down sides and room for improvement, I dub this sleek looking little timer a keeper.
I like these infusers well enough. They’re fairly sturdy as glass infusers go. The bottom is perfectly flat though, which causes a bit of suction on most wet surfaces. I haven’t had this problem with other double-wall glass infusers like this, and I’ve owned quite a few. The upside is that this design makes them very stable.
I use both the small and large version, particularly with Longjing teas. I’ve begun using the smaller one more frequently in combination with my 5 oz Finum glass. Find they compliment each other very well, being a good size match when brewing and leaving a root.
Though not my favorite, I still end up buying these, as I can get them at a discount from my local tea shop, Wing Hop Fung. I break my glassware more often then I care to admit, so price and convenience is a consideration. The downside of buying from Wing Hop Fung is that it appears they often carry seconds, which usually translates into minor visual imperfection, or worse, the filter doesn’t fit properly and will push through. Often this can be corrected by bending the little tabs that help hold it in place, but better still is to just dig through all their boxes until you get one that’s in good shape.
If you find yourself in Los Angeles, it’d certainly be worth checking these out, especially if they’re having a sale! Otherwise, not being able to inspect them first, I’d be hesitant to order one online.
In an office in Singapore, the temperature is usually very cool (and way below that of outside air); I’m not that sensitive to the cold and my friends in Europe can attest to that as some complained it was too cold in my home in winter. However I’m quite sensitive to strong temperature differences between places.
This sitting in a cold draft feeling explains why I drink more tea here than I used to, because sometimes I really need the hot cup to keep my fingers from getting blue and to warm my insides – environmental nonsense in a country where a very cool outside temperature stand around 27°C (around 80°F). Drinking tea also helped me compensate for my drastic cut in my daily espresso consumption (from 5 to 6 a day to 1)
At the office, the coffee is excellent, but the available teas are really average tea-bags, that I’ve all tried and drank once but either knew I had to avoid at all cost forever or could drink but did not feel like having again.
I decided then that life was too short to waste on drinking brewed dust, bitter and sometimes even vile-tasting brews which left me almost queasy after one cup.
I wanted something convenient, easy to clean, not fragile, as I can be a bit of a klutz and knew I would have to carry my cup back and forth between the kitchen and my desk. This last criteria definitely ruled out the Bodum Tea for one set, which I was already afraid to break when putting down on the store’s table, and for which the salesguy told me it was great because you could still use the filter (plastic mesh) with another cup, when the double-glass cup got broken by the clumsy customer.
After a while, I came across this set, which was on sale, and available in a nice fuchsia color.
I liked the design, the glass looked sturdy, easy to handle, without any risks thanks to the silicon wide ring. I also liked that the filter was a very fine mesh, through which rooibos could not go through. What I found a bit disappointing was the glass capacity (bigger than the Bodum though), especially as there was a larger glass with the same design available but without the strainer and cover.
It’s very convenient to use, rather easy to rinse, without having to use a sponge or brush to take the tea / rooibos leaves outside of the strainer. I usually manage not to have tea dripping on my desk when taking the filter out of the cup or back into it; the strainer handle fits really well, never gets hot. The filter is really stable once set onto the cover dish. The large silicon ring around the glass allows for a very comfortable walk with the glass full, the grip not feeling slippery at all even with clammy hands, unlike when holding a normal glass.
The glass and strainer get stained by tea (which I do not mind but some others might). However my main concern is that the plastic mesh is already quite crinkled, as if it could not completely stand boiling hot water temperature. I have trouble to believe this filter can be as long-lasting as a stainless steel one. I had not directly compared it with the Bodum, but both had seemed very similar.
As it is, I’m very happy with this set whose advantages are obvious everyday to my clumsy self.
Had I found before the Forlife strainer, I probably would have bought two of these, one for home, one for the office instead of this set.
Time will tell which one of the two (stainless steel vs. plastic mesh) strainers is the more long-lasting one…
I used to own a Piao I Teapot, but it broke. The stainless steel ball came loose, and I had no idea how to fix it. I couldn’t find pictures of what it was supposed to look like, and no one could tell me how to put it back together. Since I bought it when on vacation in Seattle but live in Maryland, I couldn’t just go back to the teashop where I purchased it. It took me forever to figure out how to fix it, and even then, it wasn’t a lasting solution.
In the end, it turns out that this product was not made to last. Apparently if the mesh strainer doesn’t stay down, the whole thing comes apart and the ball moves off the track. I tried super gluing the mesh strainer back in place so that it would stay down, but even that didn’t work. It kept popping up anyway any time I turned it upside down, which I had to do to clean it. Tea leaves really stick to that thing!
So while it was great while it lasted, I can’t recommend this infuser. Your money is better spent elsewhere.
This Eva Solo Tea Maker is my everyday tea brewer for 24-32 oz green and black teas. It is excellent, brews and filters perfectly, keeps the tea warm and is a perfect size for several cups. It also does not drip, at all! I love using this tea brewer every morning and actually look forward to getting up to fill it! Sounds crazy but its beautiful curvy shape and sexy zippered neoprene dress is quite alluring. The neoprene does keep the tea warm for an hour or so.
It is designed so you can either; let the loose tea leaves float in the glass vessel, which I love for green tea, insert the stainless filter and the leaves stay in the vessel when you pour. Or for teas that you want to brew for a shorter time frame you can spoon the leaves into the stainless filter instead, once brew time is chosen, fully depress the plunger to stop brewing and serve the tea, drip free.
I’ve read some other reviews on Amazon indicating that the plunger did not stop the tea from continuing to brew, this only happens to me if it takes me more than 1 hour to drink the carafe contents. When this occurs, I simply add a little warm water directly into my mug, no big deal. Like with any teapot each person needs to calibrate the amount of tea leaves to match their personal tea strength preferences. Cleaning it is very easy. My only reserve is the ABS rubber gasket that the tea has to pass through when using the plunger. I don’t like the idea of my tea going through a plastic even if safe. That being said, since I put my tea leaves into the glass vessel I find I don’t need to use the plunger at all. I love being able to carry my pet tea carafe around my home office and pour it into my mug with no spills or cleanup required. A great product, as are all the Eva Solo products I’ve purchased so far. They are very good Danish designers.
An excellent product. This is my first of such a thing. Bought it back when Teaopia wasn’t Teavana. It works great, and is a perfect addition to my loose leaves collection. Easier to use when steeping tea for more than one cup. Also, pretty to watch the leaves float around and brew. I have never tried to wash it in the dishwasher, but so far it’s decent to wash by hand. Not sure if it comes apart completely to wash one by one pieces (been too nervous to even try that!)
I only got my Libré Tea infuser mug a little over a week ago and no word of a lie, I’ve probably used it over 50 times. I love the clever idea and how it is very calming watching the loose tea leaves float around my glass. I haven’t had any problems with tea coming through the strainer and it hasn’t leaked at all for me. I keeps your tea quite warm as well. My only complaints is that when you turn it upside down, then put it right side up again, and the open it, there is still a large amount of liquid that stays above the strainer and takes a minute to strain back down. This isn’t anyone’s fault, but just a tip to everyone to give it a second so that you don’t spill on yourself. The other thing is that the little gold emblem on the lid, tends to move around under the plastic top. This doesn’t normally bother me but sometimes it gets really off-centre. Lastly, and this one is my fault, the outside has gotten quite a few little scratches because I usually carry the mug around in my purse. They are not overly noticeable, but if you want your glass staying in pristine condition, I suggest not tossing it in your bag.
All in all, great product. I recommend it to every person who drinks tea, coffee, hot chocolate, etc. When I’m finished with my tea, I rinse it out and use it as my water bottle for the day. And I don’t even taste the tea in my water.
When I saw this silicone tea infuser and read the promises, I thought I had found a solution to the dripping of tea-balls all over my table or kitchen counter, a solution that would allow me to use only this “magic” spoon, instead of my measuring spoon, the tea ball in 2 parts and the small dish to put the tea-ball after infusing. I did not buy it straight away as I found it a bit expensive. But the colors were so nice.
After about one month, I finally bought it and brought it home very excited.
Then I started using it and reality quickly came back.
1. I mostly brew tea in a teapot (750 or 1000 ml); most of the tea infuser handle gets into the brewing water. It’s not so easy when taking it out to get a strong grip on the wet and hot handles to squeeze sufficiently the infuser, so that it does not drip
2. the silicone egg comes in 2 parts that get closed with the help of small magnets on both side of the egg. The egg can also slide along the metallic handle. As a result, I’ve noticed that both parts of the egg are sometimes not perfectly aligned and then do not close perfectly tight, which means some of the tea leaves end up in the teapot. Moreover, it seems to happen more often when I’m brewing small loose rooibos rather than jasmine pearls or large oolong leaves ;)
3. last thing, after maybe 5 uses, the silicone around one metallic bar out of 4 split vertically; this side of the egg probably tend to move more which probably increased the frequency of problem number 2.
4. the egg opens very largely; I’ve actually never managed to get loose tea from an aluminum tea bag out in the spoon and then close the spoon without spilling half of it over my counter. So I still use the measuring spoon as it’s more convenient.
Honestly I’ve actually come back to my basic tea-balls for most of the time.
In my opinion, his product is a nice-looking but expensive gadget, a bit fragile and not so convenient as promised. I do not recommend its purchase, though it might be somehow practical for use directly in a cup/mug at work, for instance.
I got mine from the Tea Spot.
I love this thing. It took me a failed first attempt to figure it out, though, as I put the leaves into the little tube (hey, it looked like a little steeping basket) instead of directly in the bottle. But, when used properly, this delivers some seriously delicious cold-brewed tea! And it’s SO easy to get from point A (no cold-brewed tea) to point B (cold-brewed tea happiness!)
I have had no problem with leakage – I was lucky to have a 16.9 oz Dasani bottle on hand as we tend to refill and reuse water bottles around here (I don’t like spending a dollar … usually more … for a 16 oz bottle of water, and since we filter our water anyway, it just makes more sense to me to refill the bottles). I let the leaves infuse for about 10 minutes before I started really drinking it, but, I did take a sip at about 5 minutes and it was a little light on flavor, but still really good. I’m using the Bolder Blues tea with this at the moment (which I’ll mention in the next tasting note)… I LOVE this item… so easy to use (when used properly).
I found this at Bed, Bath, & Beyond; which is a household goods store in the US and Canada.
It looks like a tetsubin, but it’s enameled on the inside, which makes it a kyūsu, apparently. At least, according to Wikipedia, which we all know can never be wrong.
It’s very sturdy and retains heat well, though it can get quite warm on the outside – don’t try to open the lid until it cools down. The handle stays cool though.
It pours very, very well – better than my Brown Betty or plain white 16 oz pot. After my first pour, I figured out how it pours, and I can pour without spilling a single drop. It doesn’t run down the spout.
When filling the pot, it does go way up the spout, so do watch for that as you move it around.
The infuser basket is quite nice, and the trivet has rubbery feet to protect the table.
All in all, I’m quite happy with it!
Here’s a new product that I picked up at Happy Lucky’s for $6.95 but also saw at the Boulder Tea Festival. It was Best New Product at the world tea expo this year and invented by The Tea Spot (also from Boulder). I ran into Bo at the Festival and he gave me a little brochure about this invention which comes in 4 colors.
I love this! Here’s how it works.
The infuser top screws onto Dasani, Evian and Volvic water bottles (probably others also). Then you put your tea leaves into the bottle and screw the top on. Put the bottle in the frig or take it with you and you’re all set to drink the brew out of the sipper top with no fear of leaves getting in the way or clogging. (There’s a 3 inch filter rod that extends down into the bottle keeping your tea leaf free.)
Dishwasher safe too!
What a great invention! I would have put a photo of the invention but the item on the Tea Spot website could not be copied to fit into the Steepster format.